KCC are riding roughshod over the needs and wishes of the very people they are suppose to serve. Having apparently discouraged referrals to the Minnis Day Centre, they then cite falling attendance as a reason for closure. They arrive at the community meeting to discuss the Centre’s future with their minds made up. This is all very disappointing and, of course, not entirely surprising.
The good news is that all is not lost – this is far from being a done deal.
A campaign to save the Centre has been started by local residents, and users from across the Centre’s catchment area, and people who just hate seeing the vulnerable and needy getting stitched up.
More details will be appearing on this site soon. If you want to be involved, or you just want to find out more, contact Barry Hardy: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01843 845022
Fears that review may close lifeline service
Users of Birchington’s day care centre fear a county council review of services could see their “lifeline” shut. Kent County Council has written to carers and clients of the Minnis Day Centre inviting views on “future provision”.
Sue and Chris Godby have been regulars at the centre since Mr Godby suffered a stroke in 2010. Mrs Godby said:
“We are extremely concerned about the reduction or removal of the excellent services provided at the Minnis Day Centre. Many people who use the centre are vulnerable and would find it difficult to make their voices heard and should not be denied access.”
During her husband’s recovery, Mrs Godby was unable to find him a full-time carer. The day centre allows her to continue teaching and remain financially independent. She said:
“Day centres at Victoria Villas and Bradstowe Court in Broadstairs are already close to capacity and concerns have been raised over whether Minnis Day Centre clients would find another day centre locally. There are no alternative facilities in Thanet that cater for Chris’s needs. The closest location is Faversham, which is impractical. The Minnis Day Centre provides a vital lifeline for Chris and myself.”
Kent County Council say that the Minnis Day Centre is part of an overall review of Older People’s Services. A KCC spokesman said:
“The number of clients that use the Minnis centre has dropped from 91 in 2010 to 79 in 2011.”
IoT Gazette 27th Jan 2012